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The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Lisbon Treaty and appealed for the ratification process to be completed by 1 January 2009


The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Lisbon Treaty and
appealed for the ratification process to be completed by 1 January 2009. This will allow
citizens to vote in the 2009 elections in full knowledge of the new institutional framework of
the Union, as noted in the text.

The report, which was co-drafted with Spanish Christian Democrat A?A�igo MA�ndez de Vigo, constitutes the European Parliament’s verdict on the Lisbon Treaty.

The Lisbon Treaty will enhance the rights of European citizens vis-A�-vis the Union and ameliorate the effective functioning of the Union’s institutions, as expressed in the report of Richard Corbett (PES, Great Britain) co-drafted with Spanish Christian Democrat A?A�igo MA�ndez de Vigo, adopted by 525 MEPs voted in favour and 115 against to 29 abstentions.
European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering welcomed “the overwhelming majority” for the Treaty, saying it was “a clear expression of the desire for more democracy and a greater capacity of the Union to deliver”.

More democratic accountability
a�? The European Parliament welcomes the fact that democratic accountability and decision- making powers will be enhanced, allowing citizens to have greater control over the Union’s action by the greater role to be given to the national parliaments.
a�? All European legislation will, with a few exceptions, be submitted to the dual approval, in equal terms, of the Council and of the European Parliament
a�? A new, simpler and more democratic budgetary procedure with a single reading is established: the distinction between compulsory and non compulsory expenditure is abolished, thus ensuring full parity between Parliament and Council as regards approval of the whole annual budget.
Strengthening rights of citizens, improving clarity
a�? The members of the European Parliament welcome the fact that the rights of citizens will be strengthened. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights will become legally binding; it will give the citizens of the Union legal certainty.
a�? The introduction of an EU citizens’ initiative will enable citizens to submit proposals on matters where they consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.

a�? According to the Parliament, the Treaty confirms the specificity of the institutional organisation of the Union, to which Member States entrust certain of their competences that they consider to be better exerted through common mechanisms, while providing, for the avoidance of any doubts, sufficient guarantees that the Union will not become a centralised all-powerful superstate and the obligation to respect the national identities of Member States.
Greater effectiveness
a�? The Report welcomes the fact that the new Treaty will strengthen the capacity of the Union’s institutions to carry out their tasks more effectively.
a�? The areas in which the governments meeting in the Council decide by qualified majority voting rather than by unanimity will increase substantially, thus enabling the Union of twenty-seven Member States to function in more areas without being blocked by vetoes;

a�? The Union’s Foreign policy High Representative and the Commissioner for External Relations – two posts causing duplication and confusion – will be merged, creating a Vice President of the Commission/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy who will chair the Foreign Affairs Council, and be able to speak for the Union on those subjects where the latter has a common position, thus ensuring more coherence in the external action of the Union;
a�? The pillars structure is abandoned, allowing for unity of action in the different fields of activity of the Union with simplified mechanisms and instruments, although the specific nature of foreign and security policy implies specific procedures in these domains;
a�? The Union’s objectives and competencies in the fields of climate change, children’s rights, European Neighbourhood Policy, humanitarian aid, energy (including a reference in the Treaty to solidarity between Member States in this domain), space, research, tourism, sport, public health and civil protection are defined in a clearer way.
Concerns
The Members of the European Parliament express their regrets of the decisions:
a�? To abandon the constitutional approach and certain of its features, such as the notion of a Union based on the will of its citizens and Member States, a single and structured text, the clearer terminology to designate legislative instruments, the anchoring in the Treaty of the flag and the anthem and the use of the title “Foreign Minister” instead of “High Representative”
a�? To incorporate into the Treaty measures specific to particular individual Member States, such as the extension of the opt-in arrangements in relation to cooperation in police and criminal matters for two Member States, the protocol limiting the effect of the Charter on the domestic law of two Member States.
Informing the citizens
a�? The Report reiterates its request that all possible efforts be deployed, both by EU institutions and national authorities in accordance with the principle of sincere cooperation, in order to inform European citizens clearly and objectively about the content of the Treaty;
a�? The Members of the European Parliament call, therefore, for the rapid publication of the consolidated Treaties as revised by the Treaty of Lisbon, which would provide citizens with a clearer basic text of the Union. Purchase cefadroxil dosage viagra price in india 2011.


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